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A brisk wit and intelligence characterises these poems by Kate Bingham. Her subjects are friends, family, work, the experiences of any day, but her keen and compassionate focus brings these moments vividly to life. Her gift is a point of view that is startling, moving and humorous. ’Things I Learned at University’ is an ironic catalogue of the author’s official and unofficial education; ’Etudes’ charts a love affair with a series of poems of haiku-like concision; ’Nits’ is an hilarious monologue on the fate of headlice; ’Cromwell Road’ relays an unexpectedly poignant street confrontation.

Reflective and playful, intimate and exuberant, these poems have a wry, deliberate logic of their own which makes Cohabitation an engaging as well as an illuminating first collection.

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